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Eagles want Hoshino for third year

Kyodo

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles owner Hiroshi Mikitani said Tuesday he has requested that Eagles manager Senichi Hoshino continue in his position at the helm next season.

“It’s my personal opinion, but I am thinking of leaving the position to him for the middle and long term,” said Mikitani, who was at Kleenex Stadium to watch Rakuten’s game against the Orix Buffaloes.

Mikitani gave high marks to the development of the younger players on the team who were instrumental in helping Rakuten stand in third place at the All-Star break.

“I am looking forward to what’s next. There are things that must be resolved as a team and organization, but we are definitely moving in the right direction,” said Mikitani.

Before Tuesday’s game, Rakuten was in fifth place, seven games behind the first-place Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Hoshino is in his second year as manager with the Eagles, who finished in fifth in 2011.